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[130] men to his aid. To a man of Banks' mercurial nature, all these reinforcements tending his way made propitious tidings. So lightened, indeed, was his heart, through these flashes connected with the expedition which was to twine his military column with laurel, that on the 13th he wrote to Halleck at Washington, ‘leaving General Franklin to continue his march as expeditiously to Alexandria as possible, I shall proceed immediately to that point.’

On April 2d he was reporting to the same official his arrival in Alexandria. He showed no anxiety about his rear, nor any fear that his garrisons in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Port Hudson would be much missed from his imposing advance. If numbers could win in this campaign in Louisiana, there were chances with odds for his success. ‘Gen. A. J. Smith,’ he says loftily, ‘with a column of 10,000 men is with us. Our troops occupy Natchitoches,1 and we hope to be in Shreveport by the 10th of April. I do not fear concentration of the enemy at that point. My fear is that they may not be willing to meet us there. I shall pursue the enemy into the interior of Texas for the sole purpose of destroying or dispersing his forces if it be in my power. . .. Taylor's forces are said to be on that line (Sabine town). This will not,’ he adds arrogantly, ‘divert us from our movement.’

Thus he wrote on April 2d, making much of A. J. Smith's 10,000 men, borrowed from General Sherman. A small string was attached, by the way, to this loan of Smith's division. Banks had agreed to return the men to Sherman within ‘three months.’ He never once

1 General Taylor says: ‘The enemy's advance reached the river road by the 31st. . . I remained in the town until the enemy entered, then rode four miles to Grand Ecore, where, in the main channel of Red river, a steamer was awaiting me. Embarking, I went up the river to Blair's Landing, .. .whence was a road 16 miles to Pleasant Hill . . . During this long retreat, I had been in correspondence with Gen. Kirby Smith, and always exposed my intentions to fight as soon as reinforcements reach me.’—Taylor's ‘Destruction and Reconstruction.’

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